Getting involved with the King’s College Music Society (KCMS), either as an orchestral player, soloist, singer, audience member, or assuming a position on the committee, means joining one of the most vibrant music societies in Cambridge.
There is an abundance of musical talent within the College, which displays versatility and diversity. Each year the Society showcases the talent of musicians not only from King’s but also of others from across the University.
We cover a huge range of music, with large-scale orchestral concerts once or twice termly, held in the magnificent surroundings of our world-famous Chapel. As well as these, we host both a Sunday evening recital series and a Thursday lunchtime series, which take place in the Chapel, Keynes’ Hall and, for more intimate events, the beautiful Provost’s Lodge.
At the beginning of the academical year we have a stand at the King’s College Freshers’ Fair where we seek out the interest and abilities of new and present King’s musicians. We always hold a Freshers’ Recital in Freshers’ Week in the Provost’s Lodge. This is a really lovely event, celebrating the talent of new musicians entering the College.
KCMS starts the year with a Gala Concert in October. In 2017-2018, this concert comprised of Strauss's Alpine Symphony, which was a huge achievement, involving the hiring of much percussion, and four sparkling Wagner Tubas from the Royal Opera House. An amazing feat for a College Music Society. In 2016-2017, the programme was equally fantastic and ambitious:Tippett Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli, Tallis Spem in Alium, Ravel Daphnis and Chlöe Suite No. 2, and the world première of a King’s student’s composition – Dark Across a Darkening Sky. Our concerts throughout the year provide conducting and concerto opportunities as well as the chance to play in orchestras and chamber ensembles.
KCMS premières many student works each year, and often holds a concert in the Easter Term to specifically showcase the talent of King’s composers.
In the Lent Term KCMS joins forces with the King’s mixed choir, King’s Voices, to perform a work with orchestra. In 2016 we performed Mozart Coronation Mass and in 2017 Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms, both under the direction of Ben Parry.
In the Easter Term, after the exam period, the May Week concert takes place. In this KCMS is joined by King’s College Choir and King’s Voices to put on a big concert, followed by a reception on the back lawn of strawberries and cream with wine! This has a superb atmosphere, and is a great way to end the academical year.
We have a daring, ambitious and hard working committee, consisting of a Junior President (under the supervision of Senior President, Stephen Cleobury), Vice President, Recitals Manager, Librarian, Secretary, Treasurer, Social Secretary, Programme Notes Manager and Publicity Manager, alongside other general committee members. Indeed, every aspect of the organisation of KCMS is student-run, allowing members to shape the activities of the Society towards their shared interests, whilst still having the infrastructure of the committee to help in this. We also have a thriving social scene through concert after-parties and regular social events, such as a curry to start the year, and termly dinners for the whole committee.
Do look at our event posters for all the concerts we put on in the year 2016-2017.
KCMS draws upon academic disciplines in programming, taking advantage not only of the wide musical talent in the College and the University, but also of the academic rigour which makes Cambridge famous worldwide. This is an exciting and welcoming society for anyone of any standard with a passion for music.